H&M commits to diversity changes, says SAHRC

2018-04-07 07:43
(Marisa Crous, W24)

(Marisa Crous, W24) (h&m)

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H&M committed to diversity appointments, training, policy adjustment and reporting back following an engagement with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the rights organisation said on Friday.

"The steps taken include... the appointment of managers on diversity and inclusiveness both at a global and national level," said SAHRC spokesperson Gushwell Brooks in a statement.

The company also committed to training its managers and staff about transformation and racism.

It would also submit its internal policies concerning gender and equality to the commission.

The fashion retailer had also given an undertaking "to provide progress reports and hold quarterly feedback meetings with the commission to discuss the implementation of its gender and equality policies".

The steps were discussed at a meeting late last month between H&M's country manager for South Africa Pär Darj and the SAHRC.

The two groups had previously met on January 19.

South African H&M branches were forced to close when EFF supporters stormed and trashed stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town in January.

They were protesting against an advert that showed a black child in a sweatshirt, with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle" printed on it.

Brooks said the commission will continue to monitor the commitments made by H&M.

"Engagements between H&M and SAHRC form part of the SAHRC's broader efforts to address the tenuous relationship between business and human rights," he concluded.

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